When writing, sometimes you need to give readers more information – or a reference — but you don’t want to distract too much from the document. Enter the hyperlink.
If you read blogs or use social networks (or, well, anything online), you’re used to connecting to external websites via hyperlinks, and you can add the same type of hyperlinks to any Word document. Plus, you can use hyperlinks to direct readers to email addresses and specific documents, as well as to specific points within documents.
Highlight the word(s) you want to hyperlink (try to keep it short). Then click the Insert menu and select Hyperlink (at the end of the list).
That opens another window where you enter the website destination — in the Link to field. (If you cannot see the Link to field, make sure the Web Page tab is selected in the Insert Hyperlink window.) The Display field shows the words you’ve chosen to be tied to the hyperlink.
Sometimes you may want to embed an email address in your document, to make it easy for direct contact from readers.
That’s easy to do, too.
Again, highlight text for the hyperlink. Then follow the instructions above but choose the E-mail Address tab. Fill in the email address in the To field and the Subject for the messages of these emails.
Once you’ve done that, anyone who clicks on that hyperlink will launch their default email application and a new message to that email. (You can then change the subject to one of your choosing.)
For example: If you have questions, please email Word for Mac. (This isn’t a real email address, by the way.)
Finally, you can link to specific documents and points within documents. This helps when you’d like to site a specific item in another document, but you don’t want the readers to scroll through or read another document.
You link to specific points using the Anchor field, which gives options based on the contents of your document. For instance, if I were to hyperlink to the beginning of this document, I would follow the initial instructions to hyperlink > choose the Document tab > hit Select to choose my document > and then choose an option in the Anchor field.
Depending on the contents of the documents, your choices could be: Top of the Document, Headings and Bookmarks. You can designate different points in a document as bookmarks by going to Insert > Bookmark and highlighting a word and giving it a name.
If you’ve got a table of contents, it can be even more involved, with each of the headings showing up as a separate anchor that can be hyperlinked.
But when you do that, just remember to make sure the documents you’re linking to exist and are saved in the same folder/location as on the computer you created the hyperlinks from.
We hope hyperlinking helps streamline your documents, even as it adds information to your documents – but try not to go overboard. All the time your readers are spending clicking on those links, they’re spending away from your document! So, use sparingly and you might find it is an effective way to add more depth without increasing volume in your document.